Hacker Behind JailbreakMe.com Identified As Brown University Student

Monday August 1, 2011 1:51 PM PDT by Jordan Golson
Comex, the anonymous hacker behind JailbreakMe.com, a website that enables easy jailbreaking of iOS devices, has been unmasked by Forbes.
Nicholas Allegra lives with his parents in Chappaqua, New York. The tall, shaggy-haired and bespectacled 19-year old has been on leave from Brown University since last winter, looking for an internship...

He calls himself an Apple “fanboy,” and describes Android’s more open platform as “the enemy.” “I guess it’s just about the challenge, more than anything else,” he says.
Allegra describes jailbreaking as "like editing an English paper... You just go through and look for errors. I don’t know why I seem to be so effective at it.”

The Forbes article ends by wondering if Apple's security team needs a new intern. It wouldn't be the first time a jailbreaker ended up at Infinite Loop. Earlier this year MobileNotifier developer Peter Hajas was picked up as an Apple summer intern.

Top Rated Comments

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Posted: 43 months ago
Oh my God. I didn't think they even used computers at Hogwarts.
Rating: 24 Votes
Posted: 43 months ago
lol i thought this was going to be a racist post
Rating: 15 Votes
Posted: 43 months ago
Give him an Internship? Are you serious - if Apple doesn't give this kid a job then someone else quickly will!
Rating: 14 Votes
Posted: 43 months ago
Chappaqua, NY - The iPhone hacking community was stunned today when it was revealed that the longtime firmware hacker known as "comex" is actually famed Gryffindor wizard Harry Potter.

Potter, who dropped out of Hogwart's School of Witchcraft shortly before entering his senior year, has been attending Brown University under the alias "Nicholas Allegra". His accomplishments include hacking the Nintendo Wii, jailbreaking several iOS versions, and perhaps most notably, defeating the legendary evil wizard Voldemort during a cease-fire at the infamous "Battle of Hogwarts".

Potter's unmasking at Brown isn't a complete surprise. His close friend and confidant Hermione Granger had been spotted around the Brown campus at various times throughout 2009 and 2010. Potter's girlfriend, and likely future wife Ginerva "Ginny" Weasley has not been seen at the school, however that hasn't stopped the student body from arguing whether she is "kinda cute", "smokin' hot", or "a bit of a butterface".

More on this story as it develops...
Rating: 12 Votes
Posted: 43 months ago

LOL, aww, my last post has a negative rating. I'm sorry, software pirates, did I deeply offend you with my mocking of your sense of entitlement towards illegal behavior?

Wow. Really? If you equate all iOS jailbreaking with software piracy, you deserved the neg.
Rating: 4 Votes
Posted: 43 months ago

Give him an Internship? Are you serious - if Apple doesn't give this kid a job then someone else quickly will!

The guy's a genius. He'd be welcome where I work.
Rating: 2 Votes
Posted: 43 months ago

Exactly my point. We're all effed if he signs with Apple. What are the jail breakers (myself, and others) going to do if this 19 yo kid can't provide jailbreaks anymore?

How would that make him stupid?
Rating: 2 Votes
Posted: 43 months ago
i have a man crush on this guy! haha

love jailbreakme.com though :)
Rating: 2 Votes
Posted: 43 months ago

Anyone who hacks for a living would be stupid to work for the company that makes the very devices he professionally hacks. This would be a huge blow to the jailbreak community.

Why would taking any job be stupid, if you enjoy the job and it pays well enough?

Talented guy!
Rating: 2 Votes
Posted: 43 months ago

Wow. Really? If you equate all iOS jailbreaking with legitimate use, you're rather naive.

I didn't. I agree and acknowledge that there's a lot of software piracy happening on iOS, which jailbreaking enables. That was never in dispute. Your prior posts implied that there were no legitimate reasons to jailbreak, only piracy, and that's what I objected to.

Especially as Apple sees the writing on the wall and legitimately buys up people who create some aftermarket favorites to integrate into the real iOS, there are fewer and fewer genuinely believable excuses for a 'need' to jailbreak anything.

There's some writing they let themselves read, and other bits they studiously ignore (at least for the time being, or, in the case of theming, likely until their dying breath). Does that mean that any jailbreak-dependent hacks or alterations should be required to meet some arbitrary "importance threshold" for any jailbreaking to be allowed to take place? I don't think so.

Jailbreaking itself is perfectly legal, as I know you know, and allows what is pretty clearly the overall best mobile OS out there to be improved further in specific areas where people perceive failings. (Apple's philosophy of simplifying user experiences enough for 80% of people, or rather, how far they take that as a practice, doesn't always sit well with the other 20% — should they have to suffer Android just for the sake of a few extra features, or start with the solid foundation of iOS and make up the difference through Cydia?)

It's evident from even a quick glance at your other posts that you're no troll. There's no need to take an absolutist, "us-or-them" stance regarding this subject, either. Granted, piracy is a troubling problem, but it doesn't eclipse the many positive uses of jailbreaking, most of which I would say are "legitimate" despite not being official.

If nothing else, Mr. Allegra and the wider community of jailbreak software developers serve as a means of both keeping Apple honest (to some extent, anyway), and providing Apple with feedback and inspiration on new directions for iOS. If the remaining devs suddenly just gave up for some reason and switched off their Macs, Apple would probably have to depend entirely on Google for those things (and Google, frankly, is behaving like a forum troll).
Rating: 1 Votes

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